Should the US Justice Department establish a monitoring system for law enforcement agencies to ensure public safety similar to what the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has to monitor the airline industry?
The FAA has many rules, regulations, and oversight processes in place to ensure that citizens can fly safely. Those oversight processes and monitoring procedures do not just cover the physical quality and conditions of airplanes, or just ensuring that the air traffic control systems and controllers are doing their jobs accurately. The FAA has policies and procedures in place for issuing, suspending, or revoking pilot certificates, which the airline carriers must adhere to. Why can’t there be a similar monitoring system for law enforcement agencies across the country?
We can hardly turn on the news without learning of a police officer or several police officers using excessive and deadly force, particularly when it comes to arresting black men. This is not just occurring in police departments it certain areas of the country. It seems to be happening in cities and towns coast to coast, in the north, south, east and west. This random, wanton, and frequent inhumane conduct should be evidence enough that a monitoring system for law enforcement agencies needs to be put in place at the US Justice Department that would apply to all police departments and officers.
Currently, the Justice Department gets involve when a complaint of Civil Rights violations has been filed or when the public account of police brutality is so egregious that the department initiates an investigation on its own. Taking actions after the fact is clearly not enough because the incidents of brutality and excessive force keep repeating themselves. A monitoring system for law enforcement agencies need to be put in place to minimize, if not prevent, bad and illegal conduct on the part of police just as there are those that deal with the conduct and behavior of pilots.
The safety of citizens and the public must be enforced and monitored in police departments all across the country. This does not mean that there will be less support for police, or that requiring that putting a stop to certain inhuman and deadly practices is punitive or restrictive when it comes to an officer doing his or her job. Everyone in every profession must adhere to rules of conduct. A monitoring system for law enforcement agencies could help ensure proper police conduct across the board.
If the priority of police departments all across the country is the safety of ALL citizens—white, black, brown, or yellow—who live in the communities, towns, and cities they serve, then they should not have any objections to having their policies and practices monitored. They, in fact, should be proud and proactive about displaying and reporting their stellar conduct of public safety. They, of all people, should have nothing to hide.
Where is the monitoring system for law enforcement agencies? Having one in place at the US Justice Department is long past due.